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Virginia Climate Fever

How Global Warming Will Transform Our Cities, Shorelines, and Forests
Stephen Nash

BUY Ebook · 224 pp. · ISBN 9780813936598 · $24.95 · Oct 2014
BUY Paper · 224 pp. · 6 × 9 · ISBN 9780813939957 · $19.95 · Apr 2017

Science Communication Award, American Institute of Physics (2014)

Climate disruption is often discussed on a global scale, affording many a degree of detachment from what is happening in their own backyards. Yet the consequences of global warming are of an increasingly acute and serious nature.

In Virginia Climate Fever, environmental journalist Stephen Nash brings home the threat of climate change to the state of Virginia. Weaving together a compelling mix of data and conversations with both respected scientists and Virginians most immediately at risk from global warming’s effects, the author details how Virginia’s climate has already begun to change. In engaging prose and layman’s terms, Nash argues that alteration in the environment will affect not only the state’s cities but also hundreds of square miles of urban and natural coastal areas, the 60 percent of the state that is forested, the Chesapeake Bay, and the near Atlantic, with accompanying threats such as the potential spread of infectious disease. The narrative offers striking descriptions of the vulnerabilities of the state’s many beautiful natural areas, around which much of its tourism industry is built.

While remaining respectful of the controversy around global warming, Nash allows the research to speak for itself. In doing so, he offers a practical approach to and urgent warning about the impending impact of climate change in Virginia.


Thomas Jefferson was among the first American climatologists. So what could be more appropriate than to frame the issue of modern-day climate change around the rich natural and cultural history of the Virginia Commonwealth? Stephen Nash employs a winning mix of insight, humor, and engaging prose to explore the adverse impacts human-caused climate change is now having on Virginia, and to warn us of the grave threat that climate disruption poses if we fail to act before it is too late.

Michael E. Mann, Distinguished Professor, Penn State University, and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

Nash's work is important. He lays out global warming and climate change on a micro level in a just-the-facts manner.

Style Weekly

A surprising treatise, written in an engaging, storytelling--as opposed to pedagogic--manner, this is an easy read that raises and discusses issues that face everyone, not only Virginians, in terms of climate change... the tone is not preachy; the text feels more like a conversation with a thoughtful friend or friends that leaves the reader open to thinking more about the reasons why most citizens (and elected leaders) do nothing, although we hear and see the grim prognostication of what the future climate will wreak. Summing Up: Highly recommended.


Because of the urgency of the problems associated with climate change, this is the most important book about the commonwealth’s environment since Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia.

Bill Kovarik, Radford University

The most comprehensive book on how global warming and climate change will impact Virginia's ecosystems: its plants and animals, forests, lakes, rivers, shorelines, and the health, prosperity, and welfare of the citizens of Virginia. Written with clarity, scientific objectivity, and a passionate concern for the future of Virginia. A must-read for students and teachers of Virginia's climate, and a wake-up call to the citizens of Virginia and policy makers in Richmond, whose grandchildren will face the brunt of the consequences of our actions, and especially our inactions.

Jagadish Shukla, George Mason University, Climate Dynamics Program Director

Looking for fast-paced, well-written book to read this winter? One with a story arc from the ancient geologic epochs to our modern day? One that leaves you hanging, wondering whether a sequel will be published? Stephen Nash’s Virginia Climate Fever has all of this, plus a cast of characters, ranging from a well-respected climate scientist who also happens to be an evangelical Christian, Katharine Hayhoe, to the controversial former Virginia state climatologist, Patrick J. Michaels, and his successor, Jerry Stenger.... One could hope that this short, 165-page book would be required reading for Virginia legislators and policy makers. If information is truly power, this book packs enough to fuel important discussions in the commonwealth.

Bay Journal

Nash reviews the current state of climate modeling; lists ways to assess the credibility of the different voices contending in international, national and regional debates about climate change; and offers a prescription for near-to-medium-term actions Virginians might take to address the interrelated problems. Clearly aware of the literatrure on the challenges of communicating the science, Nash shows his Virginia readers that climate change already is playing a role in their daily lives and suggests ways they might respond.

Yale Climate Connections

The best primer... on how climate change may affect us in the Roanoke-Blacksburg area and what we should be doing about it.

Roanoke Times

Written by an environmental journalist, this engaging work examines the subtle effects of climate change on Virginia’s diverse environs today. It also explores how the intensification of global warming will transform the state’s coasts and forests and negatively impact the quality of life in urban and rural areas.

Library Journal

In its own wonderful way, [ Virginia Climate Fever] uncovers a wildly complex subject and lays it bare for all to see.... [A] terrific example of science writing.

Catherine O’Riordan, American Institute of Physics

For those of us who call the Old Dominion home, Virginia Climate Fever can help us bridge the partisan divide, and better understand how global climate trends will impact our state. Nash's book is meticulously constructed. He gathers together decades of data and scientific insight from individual scholars, respected research organizations, state and federal agencies, and academic research, weaving it all into an engaging and comprehensive story...This book will help readers of all stripes become more discerning consumers of climate change information.

Beth Hester · Virginia Wildlife Magazine

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